Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Meet Prolific Author Marie Lavender, and Read Her Words of Wisdom!

I always enjoy hosting Marie, my fellow Solstice author who's a bundle of energy--besides her prolific output, she runs contests, giveaways, keeps her blog up to the minute--she makes the best of her time, for sure!

Meet Marie and read her take on joining a writing community. Enjoy!


Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title - winner of the "Broken Heart" themed contest and the "I Love You" themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature; "Lovers Like Us" (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick; Second Chance Heart

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Cafe and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

A Writing Community is a Godsend!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Being a writer is a solitary journey. And after your book or books get published, you tend to find out just how alienated you are from the rest of the planet. No one but a writer truly understands the ups and downs which are part of a writer’s career.

On top of the deadlines from editors or publishers, a writer has to worry about how to market his or her books. Reaching readers is at times a full-time job. An author, however, often has to juggle another job in the real world before enough sales are made to turn writing into a lifetime career. Also, a lot of authors are balancing family obligations with their responsibilities.
Authors receive constant pressure from their spouses, other relatives, friends, even outsiders about how they should be conducting themselves. Sometimes people can be unsupportive of a writer’s life because it’s too complicated or inconvenient. Even if a writer hasn’t been published, those long hours spent writing may be looked at by others as a silly “hobby” or a dream instead of a real profession. If you’re a writer, you’re lucky to have a few people whom you love and love you, and they’re totally behind you, no matter what happens. From the crazy book release times to the occasional moments when an author second guesses his or her work because of a bad review, to the times when that elusive chapter is happily flowing onto the page the way it should, the life of an author can de demanding. Also, many authors are natural introverts, so that pressure inside just builds.
This brings me to the crux of the problem. Because of all these stressors, it becomes imperative for a writer to find a good writing community, a group of individuals who know what it’s like to have to juggle it all. They’ve been through the roller coaster of emotions and obligations. They know why you’re pulled in a million directions. They can give you advice on writing and the business aspects of being an author. And if it’s not already obvious, they have the ability to help you at least retain your sanity.
So, if you’re a writer, it’s a good idea to stay social in your writing community. Help other authors. Find critique partners you can trust, ones you can connect with on a personal level. Exchange techniques that work. Make writer friends on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. Above all, stay open to having a trusted circle with whom you can share your ups and downs. Believe me, this group will be a godsend for you. And hopefully make you a little less crazy in the process. Not that creative types aren’t already a little crazy, anyway!
Having that writing community really helps a writer. If you have a friend or relative who is an aspiring writer, give that person a wonderful gift in the form of a membership in a writer’s group. Or maybe you know more than one writer. Still, it’s not a bad idea to help them out this way. Most of us are clueless until we see the benefits of such alliances. In any case, I doubt you’ll regret. It’s likely your writers will thank you for finding people like them.
That’s part of the reason why I created the Writing in the Modern Age blog. It’s a safe place where writers at any stage of their careers can visit for advice on writing. And it’s not a bad site for readers to find new, favorite authors! But, I digress a bit.
Writers are human beings too. Sometimes we need all the help we can get. I know I’d be lost without my writing friends!
If you’re a writer and you don’t yet have a trusted circle, consider reaching out, trying something new. Connect with other writers and authors on social media. Look into writing groups in your area, or writer’s workshops at local colleges. You’ll find a priceless resource and certainly feel your journey is a lot less solitary.

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